1920s Regal Hawaiian Twin Six Hawaiian
A while ago I wrote about Jack Penewell’s custom made Gibson Twin Six, an unusual acoustic double-neck steel guitar. (Click here to read all about it.) Today’s Catch is another acoustic double-neck steel, only this time the guitar was made by Regal sometime in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Regal was known for making good, inexpensive instruments that were designed to be sold through catalogs and department stores, but they were capable of building some very nice, professional grade guitars, as well. (Check out this Catch about a very cool Regal Le Domino, which includes a lot of the company’s history.) Also, from time to time, they would make short runs of special instruments, such as this double-neck.
If you’ve ever hung out with steel guitarists, you’ll know they are always talking about different tunings, and how this one is great for jazz, that one works well for Hawaiian music while some other is perfect for country. In the electric steel world, double, triple and even quadruple necks were made to allow the player to utilize different tunings without having to switch instruments. I’ve only seen a tiny handful of acoustic double-neck steels, which makes this very rare bird indeed.
I play a bit of steel guitar myself, and I have to say I do like the tone of flattop acoustics played Hawaiian style. They have a sweet tone with lots of sustain. This particular steel guitar has a large, 16-inch body and rosewood sides and back, and I suspect that it has a loud, warm tone that I would like quite a lot. The unusual dragon decal on the top is original and is one that Regal used on a series of ukuleles, which, if you could find one, would make a great matching set with the guitar. This Twin Six comes with its original chipboard case. If you’d like to add this rare bird to your aviary, just send $2450 to the good people at Spruce Tree Music and they will send it winging your way.
A Regal ad from around the time this guitar was built.